cadaqués, may 2012

another dip into the long lost rolls of film! this roll was a total mystery until i got it processed at The Darkroom last month. as if i were traveling through time itself, these images brought back a flood of memories from that trip to Cadaqués six years ago. this is one of the most beautiful places i have ever visited and i must go back and stay awhile as soon as i am able. considering how much i love shooting in color, i appreciate the choice i made to shoot black and white for these photographs.

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The L.A. Taco Guide to Sweet Dive Bars in the Valley, Vol. 2 — L.A. TACO

There are too many sweet dive bars in the Valley to put into one piece…so here is Vol. 2 of the L.A. Taco Guide to Sweet Dive Bars in the Valley! ❤

 

It would be near impossible to feature all of the finest San Fernando Valley dives in one piece, so we are back with another installment of The L.A. Taco Guide to Sweet Dive Bars in the Valley! One of my favorite things about Southern California is the vast landscape and the Valley has a […]

via The L.A. Taco Guide to Sweet Dive Bars in the Valley, Vol. 2 — L.A. TACO

The L.A. Taco Guide to Sweet Dive Bars in the Valley — L.A. TACO

I wrote some words and shot some film for a piece about a few of my favorite dive bars in the Valley. Hope you enjoy! Be sure to check out L.A. Taco on the reg, support your local media peeps! ❤

The Valley gets a bad rap sometimes, but do not be fooled. There’s glory there, and you’ll find it hidden amongst modest, unassuming strip malls (with plenty of free parking). Sprawling over 224 square miles, the San Fernando Valley is divvied up into 34 neighborhoods within L.A. city limits, with an array of cultures, cuisines,…

via The L.A. Taco Guide to Sweet Dive Bars in the Valley — L.A. TACO

new york city, august 2001

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manhattan, august 2001

i recently found this photo as i was digging through my archives. i never showed anyone until recently, and even then only a handful of people have seen it. i mention this exact photo and the story behind it in my story below if you have a chance to read it. ❤

(this story was originally published in january of 2016 –  ticket stub story number four: radiohead — nyc, august 2001)

the mythology of new york always appealed to me, even though everything i knew about it only existed in films, photographs, and folklore. if you were to ask my thirteen-year-old self where i thought i would live as an adult, i probably would have told you new york city. i wanted andy warhol’s new york. i wanted the velvet underground and joe dallesandro and deborah harry and the factory. i guess i was born too late.

in august of 2001, i was chatting with some friends at a bar in chicago and it was decided that very night that we would fly to new york to see radiohead. we had no tickets for the concert (sold out) and no idea where we were staying. i think i had about $100 in the bank and i had never done a spontaneous trip quite like that. i was scared to death. no plan? no money? a city larger than chicago that i had no idea how to navigate? but i had to do it, something in my bones told me i had to.

at that time, flights would sometimes be incredibly cheap, so we were on our way to newark before you knew it. it was late summer, hot and humid. one of my travel companions had some friends that met us out at a bar. they were tall and leggy in stiletto heels, such tiny, delicate birds. i felt like a blubbery pile of sweaty flesh next to them.

the dynamic of friendships among young women always had a competitive edge to it. hell, sometimes, it still does. now that i am older and wiser, i see how i never learned to handle those feelings of insignificance brought on by its good buddy comparison. most of the social dynamics in school was so exhausting and ridiculous to me that i was just fine being different than the popular kids even though it meant feeling ostracized. whenever those awkward adolescent feelings start to creep back in, i get anxious like a motherfucker. fight or flight takes over everything and all rational thought disappears. my body aches to run away, to take flight, but no. fight always comes first.

all night long, from one bar to another bar, and then to a dance club, i felt hideously out of place. but all of that ended once we got to max fish. now that was a bar i could get into, the vibe was just right. even meg white was there, drinking whisky and playing pinball. the white stripes were still so new that summer of 2001 that i felt like the coolest girl in the world just to be in the same room as her.

the next day after wandering the city, i managed to get myself to where the ferry would take us to liberty state park. i still didn’t have a ticket, but somehow, it all came together in just a few minutes. i found someone selling a ticket, got on the ferry and was on my way to see radiohead for the first time.

the sun was starting to set and the light was changing as we coasted along past the statue of liberty, passing a joint around as i snapped photos. i marveled at the manhattan skyline as the sunset painted a wash of pastels onto the shining metropolis. my eyes drank in the scenery as every terrible thought i had about myself the night before melted away into the water beneath us.

kid koala was the first act, followed by the beta band, and then radiohead played. i was alone for most of the night, moving around the crowd, watching everything from different vantage points, taking in the music and feeling my skin tingle. thinking back on it now, that trip reminded me of how fun it is to travel and see live music. i vowed to do it again soon.

here is the setlist from that night:

the national anthem
morning bell
airbag
karma police
knives out
packd like sardines in a crushd tin box
exit music (for a film)
my iron lung
no surprises
dollars and cents
street spirit (fade out)
i might be wrong
pyramid song
paranoid android
idioteque
everything in its right place

like spinning plates
lucky (false start)
you and whose army?
how to disappear completely

true love waits
the bends
the tourist

when i got home to chicago, i had a couple rolls of film to process, but they slipped my mind. i ended up not getting the film developed for a few weeks. as i looked through the photos, i froze. the manhattan skyline was bathed in that perfect light, exactly how i remembered. it was just a few weeks after september 11 and i was looking at photos that had the twin towers in the background.

 

 

heartbroken and attractive

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album cover for “bubble & scrape”

who cares about valentine’s day? i certainly don’t, and i haven’t for pretty much most of my adult life. but you know what i DO care about? music and love songs and heartbreak and the crazy, weird shit that happens with all of that glorious mess. i see y’alls cute posts about valentine’s day on the social media and you know what? i am a lover not a hater and it’s cool. it’s also totally cool if you hate it! i think pre-packaged love is pretty lame but hey, we’re all flawed human beings who have no idea how to truly express ourselves most of the time. candy hearts are a good ice breaker, right?

you know what i think about every valentine’s day? it’s not chocolate or flowers or fuzzy pink handcuffs on sale at the 7-eleven. nor do i think about the shifts i worked at mediocre restaurants years ago, seeing couples fumble through uncomfortable dinners while blaming their misery on the people serving them food. every year, i think about seeing sebadoh on valentine’s day, 1995. in the 90s, sebadoh was my go-to for those rip-your-heart-out killer love songs. and “soul and fire” is by far one the best ever.

as the opening track on the album “bubble & scrape”, it’s perfection. even as i write this, i am listening to the album, after singing along with that opener thrice this morning. i’ll likely do it again before i finish writing!

i got turned on to the band by friends who played their albums while we smoked cigarettes and drew on walls and awkwardly flirted while talking about our dreams and crushes. the whole album is the pinnacle of that uncomfortable comfort in mutual like in my mind. i remember as if it was yesterday the time this cute boy put his headphones over my ears as he put on “think (let tomorrow bee)” and i felt a thousand different things rushing through my body. we didn’t even kiss that day. not yet, anyway.

so yeah, valentine’s day 1995. dallas, texas. the bakesale tour. i was nineteen, almost twenty years old and i was ready to sing my heart out along with lou barlow. i spent so many hours figuring out how to play their songs by ear that i was so excited to see their techniques in person. lou was wearing this awesome white tee shirt that said “HARDCORE” across the front. at one point during the show, he had a heart-shaped box of chocolates that he chucked into the crowd. i screamed with delight because i was nineteen and so confused about love and i got to sing my guts out to “not too amused.” it was one of my favorite music memories ever. i also vividly remember a guy in the crowd with just as much gusto who yelled “skull!” between every song until they indeed, played “skull” and we were so happy. we danced and sang every word and jumped up and down.

who needs valentine’s day when there’s sebadoh? i put together all the songs i have mentioned plus a few other favorites from the 90s for your pleasure. ❤

another round of film

been shooting a lot more lately, even dusted off the ol’ hasselblad thanks to these rolls of film. the more i process, the more excited i am about every shot i take. working on a lot of personal projects as well as a photo essay that i am contributing!! it’s scary / exciting and i need to just let go of my perfectionism, embrace whatever happens, and jump in.

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las vegas, january 2012

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las vegas, january 2012

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los angeles, august 2017

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los angeles, august 2017

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los angeles, august 2017

 

all photos shot by miss lisa g. french in las vegas, january 2012 and los angeles, august 2017. processed and scanned by The Darkroom february 2018.

las vegas photos shot with hasselblad 500cm, portra 400

los angeles photos shot with holga 120s, cinestill 800t

 

beach day

one of my pals from abroad was visiting los angeles en route to shanghai back in early october and we had the most perfect day at venice beach. ❤

all photos shot by miss lisa g. french / holga 120s and kodak portra 160 film.